Donbass seasons from Italy

Donbass-Seasons is a documentary that traces the history of the war in Donbass, from the coup in Kiev to the Odessa massacre through to the start of the conflict. Directed by Sara Reginella, Donbass Seasons shows the changing of seasons and the flow of life in a land in which life goes on, despite the suffering.


For better understanding we publish an interview with Sara Reginella. She gave it in the summer for Bulgarian media when she promoted her previous documentary.

– Sarah, can you introduce yourself.
I am an Italian Psychologist and Psychoterapist for individuals, couples and families. In addition to work as Psychotherapist, I study Directing at the Academy of Cinema of Bologna.
– What inspired you to direct a video „I am Italien“? Why did you have doubts to the objektivity of Western mass media?
I have decided to direct “I’m Italian”, in order to react to the Italian and European censorship about war in Donbass. In fact, in the first months of the concflict, official Western mass media gave no news about it. Only after the crash of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing, Western mass media started speaking about the war in Donbass. But they showed just one point of view and Russia was accused of every guilt.
“I’m Italian” is also a not propagandistic answer to the viral video “I’m a Ukrainian”. I have tried to communicate that, in every conflict, there are two different points of view. In order to avoid to think in a psychotically way and in order to find solutions through mediation, it is necessary to look for the truth listening to both points of view.
– Was this the reason to go to Donbass?
Well, I can say that going to Donbass was a way to try to find the truth, listening also to the point of view of Donbass people. I went there, after visiting refugee camps in the Rostov region, toghether with University of Psychology of Rostov on Don.
– Did you have a sense of fear, anxiety, because many people are killed there and journalists in Ukraine are some kind of target?
There is allways a part of fear when you visit a land where people are victims of war. One year ago, Italian photographer Andy Rocchelli died in Donbass, while he was documenting what was happening. The major part of Western journalists that speak about war in Donbass, show only the point of view of the “Anti Terrorism Operation”. When I have gone back to Italy, I have tried to show a different view, because I think that there is no terrorism in Donbass. So, I have realized a new video, “Voices”, that circulates on Internet thanks to Italian indipendent mass media.
– What did you feel when you arrived in Donbass? What was your first impression?
At first, I have felt a sensation of incredulity because of the enormous destruction that I have seen. A lot of civilian houses have been bombed. Thousands of people have died, have been injured or suffer because of psychological problems caused by war. Then, I have felt the desire to communicate what was happening, giving to Donbass people the possibility to speak to the West without censorship. Their voices have been represented in my second video.
– You went there for truth…. Did you find it? What is it? What did you tell people of Donbass? Did you change your point of view after visiting Novorossiya?
I went to Donbass on April 2015 and, in that period, I have spoken with people that told me that are defending their land from Ukrainian Army. They are integrated with Donbass population, they have their families there, so it is difficult to think that they are destroying their land by themselves, as Western mass media tell.
– The film “ Voices“ reflects the current life of the people in Donbass and in Italy. In general, how do people in Italy relate to what is happening in the South-East of Ukraine, to the sanctions against Russia and to the possibility of War?
There is a part of Italians that are aware about conflitct in Donbass, about economical crisis because of sanctions against Russia, and about the risk of a World Wide War. These people read indipendent mass media and use to compare news od Western mass media with news of no Western mass media. But there is another part of Italians that ignore these news. For example, during my conferences, I often meet people that are grateful and thank me for helping them to know about the violations of human rights in Donbass. These people ignore reality, but they desire to be informed.
– What do you think about increasing of NATO’s military presence in Europe? Aren’t Italian people worried about it?
I am worry about it, because NATO policy seems very aggressive. But in general, Italians who get news by official mass media, do not seem so worry. Official mass media describe Russia as aggressive, avoiding to say that, concretely, NATO has surrounded Russia by military bases. The level of disinformation is high and it does not help people to become aware of the complexity of the reality.
– In your opinion, who gets benefits from all of this?
United States get benefits.
– It is impressive that despite the negative impact on the economic life of Italy, Italian heroes in your film wish people of Donbass to hold on and continue to struggle for their dreams and freedom. It turns out that these people are willing to tolerate the negatives in the name of Justice in a foreign country.
I think that Italian people that I have interviewed in “Voices” are aware that in the World we are all connected. Donbass could be Italy. And Italy could be Donbass. The consequences of war in Donbass have fallen on Italy as economical crisis because of sanctions. But it should be necessary to be united. Both Italians and Donbass people are suffering, in a different way, because of war and because of sanctions. If Italians allow that people die in Donbass, tomorrow people could die also in Italy.
– Can you see a way our of the current situation in the World?
European countries as Italy should regain their sovereignty, their right to self-determination and free mass media. Now, someone else decides what is right for us, someone else decides what people have to know and what they have to ignore. But, without democracy, we cannot find any solution.
– Sarah, what kind of message would you like to send to our readers?
I would like to say that in Italy we are living a very dangerous period for our democracy. I observe a self-destructive European economical policy and a trend that considers Western point of view as the only right, forgetting the complexity of reality. Without a second point of view, Western people will lose the ability to read and to interpret the complexity of reality. So, the dialogue and the confrontation with different countries is very important for us.

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